Wisconsin has enacted a law which makes political free speech subject to fees or jail time.
If you think this can’t happen in America… well… it just did. This law affects liberals, conservatives and those of every political persuasion. It affects every American, both inside and outside of WI, who communicate in any manner about candidates running for office in WI.
Whether you are supporting or opposing a candidate, gathering to demonstrate for or against a candidate, or even if you are using email or the Internet to express your opinion about a candidate, you are subject to fees or jail time.
In the dark of night, behind closed doors, WI enacted the new Government Accountability Board – G.A.B. 128 Rule which silences political free speech 60 days prior to the election. Conveniently, this law goes into effect on August 15, 2010 with little to no time for successful legal challenges prior to the November 2010 election.
The entire text of the G.A.B. 1 Rule can be found here (Sections 1.10, 1.28, and 1.42 are most revealing): http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/gab/gab001.pdf
Under this new law, individuals and groups must pay a $100 registration fee to the state of WI if they want permission to use political speech that totals at least $25 “cumulatively in a calendar year.” But it doesn’t stop there…
Individuals and groups must set up a separate depository account and file a report with the Accountability Board and Secretary of State. They then need to provide periodic reports of every communication – explaining the type of communication/action for each and every episode of political free speech.
What WI did by adding G.A.B. 1.28 to the G.A.B. 1 Rule is to define political communication and actions in order to give the government the legal ability to regulate and monitor everything you say and do.
Expenses related to political free speech will include such things as a portion of your Internet bills, your phone bills, signs you’ve made, gas/bus fare to political gatherings, fliers, mailings, etc. These types of communication and action will easily total $25 per year for every American who wishes to exercise their 1st Amendment right to political free speech.
Essentially, WI has now abolished everyone’s Constitutional right to political free speech by enacting a law to ensure free speech is no longer free, and it’s now granted (or not granted), and monitored by the government.
This unconstitutional power grab by the government should outrage everyone on the political spectrum – left, right and everyone in between.
Just as the events of the Gulf Oil disaster unites everyone who cares about our Gulf Coast, this too is an issue that unites all of us.
If this new law stands in WI, it won’t be long before it spreads to other states throughout the country. Ohio is already moving in that direction: Bloggericide: Ohio Officials Charge Blogger With Campaign Violations. Will your state be next?
Here is the list of WI legislators who are responsible for taking away our right to political free speech – you may want to contact them via phone, email or letter before our right to free speech expires on August 15:
• Senator Russ Feingold (D)
• Senator Herbert H. Kohl (D)
• Governor Jim Doyle (D)
• Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton (D)
• Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (D)
• District 1 – Paul D. Ryan (R)
• District 2 – Tammy Baldwin (D)
• District 3 – Ron J. Kind (D)
• District 4 – Gwen Moore (D)
• District 5 – James F. Sensenbrenner (R)
• District 6 – Thomas E. Petri (R)
• District 7 – David R. Obey (D)
• District 8 – Steve Kagen (D)
With 77% of WI’s elected officials coming from the Democratic Party, clearly it’s been hi-jacked and it’s no longer the party we once knew. Their actions prove that they, AND the complicit Republicans, intend to strip us of our freedom and liberty.
When we allow government to grant “rights” to the American people, we are also granting them the power to take our rights away… and they just did.
From Gateway Pundit:
It should be pointed out that political speech was the very sort of free speech that the founders of this country were talking about when they crafted the First Amendment.
UPDATE: The list of WI elected officials are listed in this post to point out that, on their watch, this law was enacted. They could have informed the public, taken action against this G.A.B. Rule, or pursued legislation to over-ride it. They did none of those things and are, therefore, complicit in this unconstitutional usurpation of the rights of the people to have political free speech as granted by the 1st Amendment.
A list of the other responsible State legislators can be found here: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/w3asp/contact/legislatorslist.aspx?house=assembly